There is a meeting in court at midmorning to discuss Edrajala's quasi-military force. Edrajala seeks official sanction to police the area around Edrajala proper. Sarad, not being a lord, is unable to enter. He holds the party's blades and sends Bhuta in to infiltrate court. Bhuta uses his illusion ability to enter.
In the meeting, it is Edrajala's desires are announced. Agrama argues that this in impossible. The wizards are black caste, and cannot rule. Edrajala's "police" are a dangerous force, and should be turned over to Agrama's control. Agrama asks the king for permission to take control of Edrajala's force. Agrama blames the strangeness on the island and the insect attacks on Edrajala.
The lords break up to discusss how to hand the situation. Pathik tells Atman about the party's discoveries under the city. Atman asks for as much information as possible. Pathik asks for help rescuing Chendra's family. Atman says that he will tell the people who need to know, and he'll try to help.
Sulam tells Agrama of the party's discoveries, and Agrama laughs at him.
Chendra speaks to the king and the regent. They seem concerned, but are certain that spirits cannot harm the real world.
During all of this, Sarad's amulet allows him to notice another raven headed rakshasa enter, and later exit. Throughout the meeting, Bhuta keeps Sarad informed.
Early afternoon, a Prasada guard runner arrives and enters court. He quietly tells Agrama that warships are approaching the city. Chendra is able to overhear by improving his hearing psionicly. Agrama excuses himself. He tells the guard to ready the seaward gun emplacements. Court is suspended.
The party heads to the southeast gun emplacement, which is where Agrama is heading. The gun emplacements are on the edge of Prasada. Three face the sea, while two face into the city. Each emplacement has two huge brass guns and a small domed room on a platform. Large metal write spheres on chains hang on the edges of the platform. The Prasada guard plaecs smooth rocks in one of the spheres and slides it ddown the two rail on one of the guns.
In the distance, sailing vessals can be seen to approach. They fly the flags of the city to the south that Sarad came from.
There is a hum from the domed room and a thunderclap, and a stone arcs off toward the ships. Firing begins in earnest with some success at hitting the approaching vessels.
About a half-mile away, the ships break into two groups, one going up the river, and one heading to the east.
Chendra casts fly on himself and Pathik. Pathik teleports himself to a ship. The jumps into the water then uses passwall from a magical wand to create a large hole in the hull. A black robed wizard on the ship magically holds Pathik, then blasts him with a lightening bolt. Pathik psionicly controls the wizard and forces him to walk into the water.
The party still at the gun emplacement sees a flash of light from the other emplacement, then the emplacement goes silent. Two other emplacements begin firing. After a bit of firing, another one of the emplacements flashes and goes silent.
Rashan casts fly on Sarad and Sulam. Chendra flies down to the water. He casts water breathing on himself, polymorphs into a squid and heads toward the ships. After determining that a squid is too slow, he polymorphs into an aquatic elf, which is much faster. He goes beneath a ship and opens a psionic dimensional door into the ship. Water pours in and the ship begins to sink. He eventually sinks one ship and slows another.
Sarad and Sulam head toward the king's garden where it looks like the ships to the east are heading. As they leave, the lightening elemental powering the gun emplacement escapes in a flash of light. It kills several Prasada guards before disappearing.
Sarad and Sulam fling boulders at the ships, without much effect. After getting blasted with a fireball, the two fly out toward the ships. The pair is hit with a lightening bolt. A dispel magic follows the lightening bolt, and the two heavily armored fighters plunge into the sea. Sarad drops his sword. Sulam uses his ring to grow gills and flippers, and pulls Sarad to shore. The pair is escorted out of the garden by Prasada guard.
The ships eventually retreat. It seems likely that they were a diversion for a land attack. Agrama had forseen this and set up an ambush to the north. The invaders were driven off.
With the help of Kvin's locate object prayer, Sarad's sword is recovered. The party returns home and rests.
The next day, on his way to work as a judge, Pathik notices someone hit by a dart. The man falls to the ground. Pathik cautiously moves to the collapsed form, hiding the fact that he is actually looking for the assassin. The man who collapsed has died from some sort of poison on the dart. Pathik quickly sees a shadow on roof. A dart hits Pathik, but he is enchanted with a stone skin which protects him. Pathik mentally blasts the shadowy figure, and it collapses. Pathik notes noone around and teleports up.
Standing next to the dark robed form on the roof is a red robed elf, Yamaduta. Yamaduta tells Pathik to "Let this one go," and leads Pathik off.
(Fairly random aside: at some point around here, Pathik mades Sarad his legal heir.)
Sulam and Chendra meet with the Saheed and the King. Sulam congratulates Agrama, and Agrama thanks the party for the help with the ships. Saheed asks the party to help with the insects. He needs to know where they are from, what they mean, and what can be done about them. Chendra agrees, and asks for a duly appointed representative, preferably a holy man, to join us to verify our findings. Saheed says that if we find any evidence, call his name and he will see.
The party regroups and plans to reenter the catacombs. Chendra casts stoneskin on most of the party. Kvin reveals that he has had a vision of the party gathered around an alter underwater in the Stupa.
Edrajala has been selling magical wands which emit a burning beam of light through the theives guild. Pathik purchases one. The wand is metal with a small lens on one end. A button sits on the side.
The party decides to give the Regent further requests for supplies tomorrow morning, spend the day investigating the Stupa, and the next day investigate the catacombs for bugs. Sarad sets Bhuta to spying on court.
The party is ferried to the Stupa. The Stupa is about sixty yards diameter and eighty yards tall. Ruined temple lie aroudn the crumbling edge. A break in the smooth grey surface of the Stupa leads inward.
(2) After walking down many stairs, the party reaches water level. The water almost totally covers a door to the side, and the stairs continue deeper. Roshan and Chendra cast protective spells upon the party. The spell of water breathing allows party members to breath the water. Airy water makes the water around the party bubbly and thin, so that the party can move normally. In addition, spells of flying work, as do mundane lanterns. Chendra also casts spells protecting the party from the cold of the water. The party descends down the submerged stairs.
(2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) The party goes past several levels, following the large circular stairwell down, eventually coming to a metal door. The door opens to a huge submerged chamber with silt covering the floor. Strangely shaped holes in the ceiling lead to an upper area. The door is at least twenty feet above the silted floor. A faint green light can be seen up and across the room.
Those party members which visited the Stupa earlier are apprehensive, since it was here that the krakan attacked.
Fly spells are cast on Pathik and Sarad. Rashan and Sulam hold onto Sarad, while Chendra and Kvin hold onto Pathik. The party flies through the airy water to the upper level. Pathik goes down to the floor and sees gold glittering in the silt, but quickly rejoins Sarad.
Faint torchlight can be seen to the left. Moving toward the torchlight, it becomes clear that it is a tranparent, but reflective wall reflecting the party's lanterns. Moving on, a large, fifteen feet wide crack is visible in the transparent wall. Silt has poured in through the crack, creating a mount on the upper balcony.
Heading toward the green light, the party comes to a bamboo framework build around a ten foot diameter round white stone on the wall. The stone is far above the upper balcony, but right up against the ceiling. The green light eminates from bladders of some creature filled with a faintly phospherescent material. The bladders, along with colorful sea plants and humanoid bones, are tied to the bamboo framework. The white stone is carved with a dagger pointed down.
This stone is the one from Kvin's dream, but Kvin doesn't know how to proceed. He asks Agni's blessing to grant him and idea, but nothing comes of it. Pathik knocks on the stone and asks Ratri for entrance.
With that, there is a click, and the disk splits in two horizontally. There is a popping sound and the airy water ends. The lanterns immediately go out. The party is sucked into the hole behind the white stone. Pathik mentally creates an inertial barrier to try and slow the descend. The party is drawn deeper and deeper in. The water breathing spell fails. It's dark and the party is being tossed about in the water, falling towards the unknown. Chendra's resist cold spell has also failed, and it is bitterly cold. Pathik's inertial barrier helds keep the party from bouncing against unseen walls too hard, until his passes out from lack of oxygen. Most of the party is unconcious when they fall into a huge open space, landing in a pool of water. Just before Sarad and Chendra pass out, they see a light of some sort held by a giant of black stone.
The party awakes to the sound of a hunting horn, lying on something cold. It is bitterly cold, but the endure cold spell (which can begun working again) helps. The party's clothing and equipment have changed. Their clothing is coarser and warmer. Some of their equipment is missing. It is dawn, and the sun rises rapidly.
Looking about, the party appears to be on the east edge of an artic valley. The hunting horn blasts again. On the west end of the valley, a group of two-hundred pale skinned men with long blond hair carrying swords stant. The group is about four-hundred yards away. A warrior with a banner on a pole runs toward the party. He is wearing leather armor and armed with a long sword. He is coming from a raised wooden platform in the center of the group of pale warriors. On the platform is a throne and two red pennants. It is clear the the man approaching the party is bringing a matching third pennant toward the party. The advancing man approaches within fifty yards of the party, plants the pole in the snow, and runs back to the larger group.
The party advances to the flag. It's a long triangular pennant, tattered with age.
As the party inspects the flag, troll-like creatures burst out of the snow and attack. About a dozen of the translucent skinned creatures surround the party. They are quickly put down. Fearing that these strange creatures are similar to the desert trolls the party was familiar with, Kvin burns the bodies. The fire creates a huge pit in the deep snow.
Suddenly the sky darkens, then lightens again. It's midday, and a large white reptilian creature circles through the sky toward the party. The pale warriors continue passively watching. Roshan and Chendra both blast the oddly colored dragon with lightening bolts. It blows a wave of freezing cold on the party and circle for another attack. Pathik and Chendra use their mental powers to blast the creature and Roshan hits it with another blast of lightening. The creature falls to the ground.
The party dashes up to the creature. It appears to be an ice sculpture. Another red pennant sits beside it. Sarad grabs the pennant. The party returns to the first pennant, which Pathik pulls down.
The pale warriors move further away from the party, up the northwest cliff edge and into a cave. The party heads that way. Only a group of about twenty warriors and a man on the throne are still there. Somehow the sun has advanced to evening. The party advances within shouting distance to the men.
Chendra greets them. The man on the throne stands, "Greetings, and well met." The man explains that this is the Arena of the Gods, a testing ground. He challenges the party to pick a warrior for one-on-one combat, so that more blood is not spilt. Chendra asks about these "tests." The man explains that if the party's champian wins, the party will be allowed to pass. He is not the one to explain exactly why the party is here.
The pale warriors form a semi-circle, while the party forms the other half. The man on the throne stands, he carries a huge two-handed sword. Sulam is chosen as the party's champian. The fight is vicious. The leader of the pale warriors repeatedly inflicts blows strong enough to cleave most men in half. Sulam makes a good showing, but is only saved from the blows by the stoneskin spell protecting him. Aggravated, the warrior makes a crushing blow toward Sulam's head, strong enough to slay a dragon, but it too bounces from the stoneskin. The leader's blade shatters, and he turns to ice.
The remaining warriors begin grumbling that the fight wasn't fair. They attack. Half of them shift into wolves. There is a long battle. Sulam is ganged up on, eventually falling and turning into an ice statue. Eventually all of the warriors and wolves are slain, each turning to ice.
The party begins moving toward the cave when a ghostly form of Sulam appears over his icy body. It moans, but is unintelligable. The party continues into the cave, and Sulam's ghost follows.
The cave opens into a large cavern, which in turn opens into a huge cavern. The chamber is lit by light embedded in the ice covered walls. Woman in a white robe with a dagger in her belt is waiting for the party.
She says that the party members have proved themselves worthy. They are the most likely candidates. The party is told that when they arrive at the hall of the high king, their commands will control the world. Several things must be done. First, the curse on the high god's home must be removed. Second, the city must be raised back into the heights. Third, the king's people must be returned to their rightful home. She warns the party that each person shall only make one command, lest the anger of the gods be raised. If the party follows her instructions, it will receive her favor.
The woman in white then turns to Chendra. For him she has a special task. When the time of wishing comes, he must wish for the Ring of Gaxx to be delivered unto him, so that he may deliver it unto her.
She then directs the party down a side tunnel. She expands into a mere shadow form of a woman and flows out of the room.
The party heads down the indicated tunnel. It get darker and darker. until nothing can be seen at all.
The party members come to, each in a stone coffin, with light at their feet. Sliding out toward the light, the party finds itself in a hallway, the side of which is covered with coffin sized holes. A pair of giant black stone creatures herd the party into a room with Sulam.